Andrea Let Loose; Scots Star Says Hit Show Has Helped Her Shed Inhibitions
Byline: Jane Oddy
ANDREA McLEAN admits she was in a state of shock during her first year on Loose Women as the panellists let rip with outspoken views and opened up about their personal lives.
But now the gorgeous Scot says she is one of the girls and feels so at ease on the show that she's even let slip a few more details about herself.
The 41-year-old laughed: "When I started, I was very blinkered in my opinions as my life experiences were limited compared to the other girls.
"I probably spent the first year listening to the others with my mouth hanging open and saying, 'Wow!'
"Now I'm unshockable. I'm a lot more rounded as a person as a result of the show and sometimes have revealed far more on air about myself than I've wanted to."
Andrea credits her friendships with outspoken LW pals like Denise Welch and Coleen Nolan for breaking down her inhibitions.
She added: "You tend to surround yourself with people who think the same way as you do, so it's a shock to have your opinions challenged. It's been good for me to argue and debate."
Her feisty attitude has rubbed off on her home life and Andrea laughs when she admits she won't stand any nonsense from her second husband, builder Steve Toms.
She said: "When you're married second time around, you're stronger because you know you won't put up with what you did before. I'm better at saying 'No' than I was in the past. Now I'll fire warning shots across the bows.
"What makes the difference in a second marriage is that if something has been broken in the past and hasn't worked, you know you have the strength to get over it.
"If a marriage doesn't work again, you realise it's not the end of the world."
Not that there is any danger of that. The couple - who now run a successful property renovation business together - got married two years ago and are blissfully happy.
Andrea split from her childhood sweetheart of 17 years, Nick Green, after meeting builder Steve while co-hosting the show Our House on UK TV in 2003.
They live in Ashtead, Surrey, with her son Finlay, now nine, from her first marriage and their daughter Amy, four, who is the inspiration for Andrea's first book.
She said: "I started writing about Amy and the daft things that she does. I've put them together as a collection in a book and I'm looking for an illustrator at the moment.
"I have a blog about her - 'Oh Amy Jane' - which goes down really well on Twitter too." But despite loving every minute of motherhood, Andrea revealed she won't be having any more children.
She said: "Don't get me wrong, I love a baby and having a cuddle but I like giving them back too. I'm not broody."
Andrea is poised to have a major hernia operation - for a problem which has plagued her for years as a result of her two pregnancies.
She said: "Not only did I have emergency Caesareans with both my children but I put on four stone with each baby.
"And with Amy, not only did the weight not come off but I also had a lot of pain in my stomach.
"I was diagnosed with a double umbilical hernia - one right behind my belly button which stuck out like an elbow and another just below my breast bone."
After an operation to remove the larger hernia, she hoped the smaller one would go away with exercise but it hasn't - which is why she has to embark on more surgery.
"While they're in there, I …
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Publication information: Article title: Andrea Let Loose; Scots Star Says Hit Show Has Helped Her Shed Inhibitions. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland). Publication date: January 27, 2011. Page number: 24. © 2009 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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